A journey of disobedience

October 26, 2018


I never saw myself as a leader growing up. I was the youngest of three siblings dominated by a hierarchy. Leadership was the last thing on my mind. I became a Christian the summer I turned 15, and I knew from that day on that God was calling me into full-time vocational ministry. I did not, however, want to be a pastor, so I ran from the call for the next decade.

Running from ministry
My church experience in a Korean church youth group was not a positive one. My youth group lacked consistency in teaching and worship. Sunday services consisted of about eight youth group members, trickled with a few college students.

The average tenure of an English speaking youth pastor at our church was about six months. During my four years at that church, we went through six different youth pastors.
When I graduated from high school in 1992, I wanted to stop going to church altogether. With the newfound freedom I had as a college student, I felt that there were better ways I could be spending my time.

By God’s grace, a Korean church found me despite my efforts to run. And it was there, a group of older brothers took me under their wing and mentored me. The English ministry pastor understood the struggles that we had as Asian-American Christians, and it was a fruitful season.

Being refined
After my sophomore year, the church split, and the English ministry disbanded. I was wrecked, but even through the carnage, God brought about something for His call on my life. I started teaching youth at that church, and He sharpened my skills and gifts of teaching during that time.

I graduated from college and still knew God was calling me into ministry — but I still had no intention of following His call, especially if it was to a Korean church. I was still running.

I landed a programming support job during the dot-com boom, which led to an analyst programming position at one of the best companies to work for in Canada. I was set and living the dream, but even after all that, I clearly knew in my heart that God was calling me into ministry.

Understanding the journey
I believe God let me have a taste of the professional workplace life to understand what so many Asian-Americans strive for. Even in my disobedience, God was preparing me for the calling of being an English ministry pastor.

I would encourage anyone who feels called into full-time vocational ministry to consider staying with the immigrant church. It’s a very difficult place to be due to the cultural differences and the normal stressors of being a pastor, but it’s a beautiful place to be and grow in. I truly believe that God is raising up a generation of cross-cultural and contextually savvy leaders in the immigrant church. I pray that those who are called will boldly follow.


by Jacob Park  
/  Contributing Writer

5 ways to make baptism a big deal

In the church planting world, baptism days are one of the most exciting celebrations that are a highlight for both the church and the individuals professing their faith through baptism. So when our new executive director-treasurer, Todd Unzicker, announced that on Sept. 12, we...

Does virtual discipleship work?

Amid COVID-19 and the rise of virtual meetings, many ministry leaders are asking, does virtual discipleship work? According to Cole Hutchison, the answer is “Yes.” Hutchison is an engineer who lives in London, Ontario. He is also a virtual member of Point Church - International in...

3 strategies for reaching Asian American communities

“Every pastor connecting, every church collaborating, and all Asian Americans celebrating.” That’s Peter Yanes vision and strategy for reaching Asian American communities in his role as executive director of Asian American relations and mobilization at the Southern Baptist...

What the Bible says about our true identity

I am an Asian American but I feel as if I am the middle of two cultures. Although it’s been 20 years since I first landed in the United States, I still feel like I am not American enough. But at the same time, I feel like I am not Asian enough, either. I am an Asian American. More...

Are you a point leader? — 3 questions to consider

"Point leader" is the phrase I use to describe the person who is ultimately responsible. A senior pastor, a chief executive, a sole proprietor, a church planter, a head coach, a mayor or a governor are examples. Numerous times over the last several years, I have had church...

A yearlong approach to delving deeper into spiritual disciplines

In the United States, there is a severe famine of the Word of God. Even though the United States has most of the Christian resources in the world, the majority of U.S. Christians are not doing well in terms of reading and taking in God’s Word. Lifeway research shows that Americans...

Why you need to attend Church Planting NC’s ‘Start Here Gathering’

When we planted a church, we were the only church plant in our geographic region. I had contact with other pastors of local churches, but at the stage that our young church was in, it seemed that no one really understood where I was as a pastor and church planter. It was during...

An Asian American’s perspective on the Atlanta spa shootings

My heart broke on March 16 when I heard the news that eight people had been killed — including six women of Asian descent — in a mass shooting at three different spas or massage parlors in Atlanta, Georgia. Investigators in the case say the suspect struggled with sexual addiction...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!